Celts! (played by M, another of the Rilesoc boys. Because we got a late start, I didn't really get a chance to admire his painting and I sure am not doing it justice with these crappy iPhone photos.
We had better scenery this time, with a cuople of quaint little farms to witness the oncoming carnage.
The beginning of this battle was all about failing command rolls. We each had 3 divisions and on the 1st round, we both had 2 commanders fail to command. We justified it by saying that both teams were paralyzed with shock at meeting such strange opponents. ("Why are you brown?" "Why are you BLUE?") In subsequent rounds, my guys did get a move on and this picture shows my center reaching the meager protection offered by a grove of trees.
Because of these factors, chiefly M's command rolls, I was able to fight how I wanted to fight: move to within bow range, pepper him with arrows, avoid clashes of hand to hand combat (pretty much how I fought D's Greeks a couple weeks ago -- Persians are an archery-heavy, maneuverable force, which translates to fighting pretty cowardly). I was able to do this a lot as the Celts moved very slowly into battle. But as much as the dice were refusing M a decent command roll, they were kind to him with regard to missile attacks: few of my slingstones, javelins, and arrows hit, and M made saves against most of the ones that did hit him. Lesson to me: do not count on winning games with arrows.
That was about as far as we got that day. We started late, played past midnight, and M had worked a full day earlier so we decided to call it a draw. M still had a lot of lead on the table but I had better strategic position. His guys also had more casualties, wounds from bows and slings that hadn't broken his units but would make them a little easier to break later. Inconclusive, but leaning my way, the Celts and Persians both withdrew to ponder this strange new opponent. They would meet again.
Coming soon: the most beautiful, newly painted Persian cavalry you can imagine.